Monday, February 18, 2008

We did end up salvaging the weekend...sortof....

We spent an entire day (more, really) preparing for this, the three day weekend that was going to be sooooo much fun. We were taking our RV to a California State Park and camping. They don’t take reservations, but we were assured by the ranger that even on 3 day weekends, they don’t fill up this time of year.

We got into the truck, towing our mini-home behind us, excited for a weekend of fun at the beach, hiking, seeing Elephant Seals and family time, sans TV, Cell phones, internet, etc. After a quick stop at McD’s for dinner, we got to the state park around 8:00PM. Just on time.

We pulled up, got out to grab the registration. Not the Momma asked where the cash was… Cash? We need cash? I thought YOU got cash!? Fine, I grabbed the checkbook before leaving. Then we saw them. The words “No Out-of State Checks.” Great, Fine. They looked really full anyway. It wouldn’t have been fun trying to back the RV into a spot meant for a tent anyway. Plan B.

Drive down the road 45 miles to the RV “resort” we had considered staying at. Not quite ‘roughing’ it in any sense of the word, considering the Cable, Wi-Fi, Swimming Pool and Tennis Courts, but it would be fun. We could still drive back in to the beach, etc. We pull up at 8:45. No Vacancy. They are full. This place had over 200 spots, and they were full. In the middle of February. Great. Fine. Plan C.

Using Not the Momma’s phone and computer tethered together we found a campsite right on the beach another hour or so away. Drive down. They have spaces, but none big enough for us. Story of the night. I got out of the truck just to hear the ocean waves crashing… Wouldn’t that have been nice? To hear the waves crashing? Oh yeah.

Plan D. We find another spot up the road that has “VACANCY” written in big letters.. We drive through, and there seems to be one spot. Problem is, it requires some pretty extensive backing, it’s after 10:00PM, and after quiet hours. We’re pretty certain the ‘neighbors aren’t going to be happy listening to me shout out directions and the rumble of the diesel engine for the amount of time it would take to get the thing into the spot.

Plan E. What is plan E? I don’t know.. Let’s start driving back.. Maybe we’ll find somewhere to stop along the way. Somewhere we didn’t see or think of before. About half way back to the freeway, 6 deer jump out in front of us, Not the Momma Slams on the breaks, which lock up nicely. We stop. Safely. We are safe. Thank GOD. Not the Momma lets off the brakes and keeps going.. Only the tires on the fifth wheel don’t unlock. It took a few yards before they released. We get back to the freeway. We remember seeing a Rest Stop, which is good because at this point, it is nearly midnight, and we’re tired. We’re sorely disappointed, and we need a bathroom break. Little Monster starts waking up every 10 minutes or so and whines. He doesn’t like sleeping in his car seat. Can’t say I blame him. We stop at the Rest Stop. It’s now 12:15. Not the Momma heads inside to use the facilities, I try to get him to stay here for a few hours and sleep, but he said it wasn’t safe due to the ‘embellishments’ he found in the rest room. Oh, yeah, that and the place seemed absolutely DESERTED. That was Plan E. Let’s go to Plan F. As we pull away from the rest area, I realized that had we gone backwards through the last RV park, we would have been able to park the RV very easily. Nice thinking, huh? Just a few hours and a hundred miles too late.

Plan F? Find ANYWHERE to stop. Anywhere. At around 1:15, Not the Momma needs to stop again. Seems like 2 litres of Diet Mountain Dew are doing a number on him. We stop again in a McDonald’s parking lot with Truck Parking. I try again to convince him, please to stop here to sleep. He thinks he’ll be fine. We’re now only about an hour and a half from home. We’ll just go home. At 1:30, we saw it. The Fog. The fog was rolling through the valley, and it was thick enough that you couldn’t cut it. It looked more like a brick wall than a cloud. At this point the two of us started to secretly panic, the baby woke up again and started crying again. We were both at wits end. Then, we remembered the WalMart. WalMarts allow people to ‘camp’ overnight in RVs if they need somewhere to stay. Which WalMart did we end up in? The one 30 minutes from our house. About 30 miles from home, but it was 2:15AM, foggy, and we couldn’t go any further. We camped in Walmart. 30 minutes from our house. Fun, huh?

Not the Momma got up in the morning to try to find a place to camp, and saw it, as a choir of a thousand angels sang out in perfect harmony. A Starbucks. We got coffee, and after seeing the tires, decided to head home. When the tires locked up, one of the tires was torn up so badly that it was completely bald in one area. So, we took the fifth wheel back to her home in the storage lot. Unloaded it, and headed home. We got home at 9:00AM on Saturday. Less than 24 hours. Fun, huh?

Lessons learned: Bring Cash. Always Bring Cash. Even if you think Not the Momma is going to get some. NEVER believe the Ranger when they say they don’t fill up. Just camp somewhere you CAN make a reservation. Oh, and don’t try to go camping during the CA mid-state Fair, anywhere within a 300 mile radius of the CA mid-state Fair.

Saturday, after we got home and unpacked, we stopped at Home Depot and got sod for the backyard. We purchased nearly all the sod they had on the lot, thinking it should be plenty to fill the strip of backyard we have. After hours of backbreaking tilling, lugging, watering, cutting and arranging, we are still 8 rolls short. I was so glad Saturday that we weren’t sitting somewhere listening to the waves crash… Because now, we have grass.

Sunday, we found the local hospital, always a good thing in our family. Things tend to happen to us, especially on holidays.

Monday we drove up the coast into San Francisco, or nearly there, where I got to use the facilities in the nastiest porta-pot ever. I walked in and the smell hit me. I wished it had been a ton of bricks hitting me. As I hovered over the hole trying not to let my pristine, clean legs touch the germ infested seat, I gagged. And then it happened. The dreaded ‘splash-back.’ Some of that blue petrid nasty reeking port-a-john water splashed back onto my legs. I would have thrown up, but it would have meant being in that thing longer. The thought of leaving the place, pants around my ankles crossed my mind so that I could zip up in fresh air, but I managed to hold my breath for the next 30 seconds.

I realize that our weekend could have been worse, but, it was nothing like we planned. The relaxing, fun, technology free weekend was ruined. But, I think we managed to salvage it. We had smores for dinner tonight, made on the grill. I fed Little Monster a hot dog first, but for us grown-ups, dinner consisted of graham crackers, ooey, gooey marshamallows, and chocolate. What better way to end a three day weekend where nothing went like it was supposed to. I can’t think of one!

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